PHOTO: Richard Hunter sharing his knowledge and expertise with whānau in the maara kai at Tuamātene yesterday.
Although it took five adult men several hours to assemble the barbeque, yesterday’s working bee and hui at Tuamātene was very successful. We discussed the aspirations for the maara kai and planned for our planting day next month. We would like to take this time to thank our maara kai expert Richard Hunter for coming along and sharing his gardening knowledge with us. We are looking at growing a wide variety of vegetables and Richard is going to try and source taewa (traditional potato varieties) for us to plant as well. We will also be putting in some fruit trees and we intend to espalier these along the fence-line. This is an excellent opportunity to learn how to espalier and I am personally looking forward to this. It was recommended that we divide the large garden at the rear of the maara kai and install 3x3m raised gardens which can be allocated to whānau, tamariki, kaumātua and/or other groups. We will be discussing allocation of the plots at the planting day on Sunday 5 August, if you are interested please come along.
We discussed the wharenui yesterday, its significance and the potential repair cost. This is one of those balancing problems where a discussion about the repair and maintenance of the building also requires a much larger discussion around the strategy for Tuamātene. We need to do more work and consultation on this. That said, there was a lot of enthusiasm mixed with pragmatism and some great ideas presented. One of those ideas was for pou whenua to be installed at the entrance to Tuamātene.
Coming up this week we have the mid-winter luncheon for our kaumātua at Ūkaipō on Wednesday. I will also be at Ūkaipō at 6pm on Friday to start the first of the regular monthly kanohi ki te kanohi meetings to discuss issues and answer questions. I can’t promise to answer or solve everything but I am hoping this will be the start of a positive and constructive forum.
The recruitment process is going well and we hope to have more news on this soon.
We are preparing a submission on the extraction of water from the Opaoa River to irrigate 100 hectares of vineyard next to Mataora (Big Lagoon) which could potentially affect a very delicate ecosystem. We are also investigating the proposed East Coast cycleway by NCTIR.
Finally, it is with great regret that Amber will be leaving us in late August just prior to her big trip overseas. Ambers positive and out-going nature has made the office a pleasure to work. We wish her all the best.
Mā te wā